7th – 10th November 2012

Facultat de Geografia i Història - Universitat de Barcelona


  • Call for Papers (closed)
  • Speakers
  • Attendees
  • Wednesday 7/11/2012

    Thursday 8/11/2012

    Friday 9/11/2012

    Saturday 10/11/2012

    This Conference is dedicaded to the memory of

    Neil R. Smith (1954 – 2012)


    Strikes and revolutionary movements are endemic in the urban environment. Cities, and particularly the great cities, are in an unstable equilibrium”.
    (Robert Ezra Park, 1925)

    Social conflict is inherent in urban society in general. Social conflict is a historic constant that makes cities the epicenter of revolt in all of its forms. Despite our attempts to systematically classify the varied logics that lay behind existing disparate scales of uprising, e.g. large mass movements, small groups organized around blueprint actions, or individuals that quietly rebelled with daily contempt, to date it has not been possible to bring them all under a common systemic defiance. Political movements vs. social movements, peaceful vs. violent actions, organization vs. spontaneity, etc., these are old dichotomies overcome by the force of the present situation.

    So, how does conflict come about in contemporary cities? The varied kinds of agitation featured in the current crisis are a good example of the different types of rebellion against public order, the norms that sustain it, and the authorities that implement them. From a demonstration against government cuts to apolitical graffiti somewhere on the urban fringe, from insubordination against mortgage repossessions to the refusal to pay for the use of public transport, from symbolic happenings performed in public spaces to the defense, at any cost, of squatted housing, of neighborhood resistance against evictions or of the opposition to identification raids on undocumented migrants.

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